In 2015 I completed the Annapurna Circuit, a 150 mile trek around the Annapurna Massif, taking in a variety of beautiful scenery from subtropical forests all the way up to high altitude arctic passes. The influence of different cultures can be seen as you travel through the two river valleys, from Hindu villages in the foothills to Tibetan culture in Mustang.
Trekking numbers were low this year, this was not long after the devastating earthquake of April 2015, and during a time when the country was facing a huge fuel shortage down to shifting political relations with India. Tourism, which is a mainstay of the Nepalese economy was hit hard.
Although mildly apprehensive to start my journey I decided that despite the current issues many Nepalese on the hiking trails rely on passing trade as their main source of income, a return to normal lives meant the return of tourism. This was reinforced by the welcoming generosity of all the local people I met and stayed with along the way, the sentiment ‘not many trekkers this year’ becoming all too familiar.